Between 300,000 and 800,000 alleged communist sympathizers were killed during Suharto's bloody rise to power from 1965 to 1968, a spasm of violence led by the Indonesian army and conservative Muslim groups.
His troops killed another 300,000 in military operations against independence movements in Papua, Aceh and East Timor, while hundreds of thousands of others were jailed without trial or disappeared.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, once a general serving under Suharto, is among a stream of high-profile government officials who have flocked to the hospital to visit the former strongman, who is suffering from multiple organ failure and a potentially deadly blood infection.
"As a human being, like other leaders, certainly he made mistakes and committed wrongdoing, but it would not hurt us to thank him and appreciate his achievements and services to the country," Yudhoyono said Saturday.
-Indonesia's Ailing Suharto Eludes Court